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Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE

by Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE
August 30, 2015 · Comments Off  

The Florida Legislature has a program to honor great Floridians.  Started in 1981 the program has honored 89 individuals, 74 men and 15 women.  Over the thirty-four year span of the award, there were no women honored for twenty-five of those years.  The first woman honored was environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1987.  The second woman honored was educator, Mary McLeod Bethune, fifteen years later.  Many women who made significant contributions to the State of Florida and the nation have been omitted including Betty Mae Jumper, the first female Chief of the Seminole Nation of Florida and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

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Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE

by Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE
April 29, 2012 · Comments Off  

The Harriet Tubman Statue project in Maryland had a major victory this legislative session. The statue bill passed both houses of the General Assembly and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.

After passage in the House of Delegates 133-0, an eleventh hour amendment of the House version allowed by Senate President Mike Miller threw procedural obstacles in the way of passage. With time running out and many bills held up in a power struggle over the budget, sponsor Del. Susan Lee and Chairman Pete Hammen finessed the rules and got the Senate version amended and passed so the bills would be identical and not require a conference committee.

Coalition leader and Maryland NOW president Linda Mahoney expressed her disappointment that some in the legislature are still unwilling to have Harriet Tubman be one of the two official Maryland statues in Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol: “I would have preferred to have the original bill from 2011 passed. However, we looked at the demographics in the legislature and decided that a Harriet Tubman statue in the U.S. Capitol now would be preferable to a possible statue in the Statuary Hall Collection in a decade or two. We want Harriet Tubman to be someone that girls and young women can look up to and realize that gender and ethnicity do not have to be a bar to achievement by individuals who want to improve the lives of the people around them.”

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Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE

by Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE
April 1, 2012 · Comments Off  

On March 22, Maryland HB 1429 passed House of Delegates 133-0. The first hearing in the Maryland Senate on March 27 SB 1069 passed out of Senate Committee with favorable vote. Here is a copy of the bill. Note that only the section on the statue was voted on.

***

Harriet Tubman Statue & Commemoration Legislation
Bill: Request to Place a Statue of Harriet Tubman in the U.S. Capitol and for Commemorative Days to be set.
Synopsis: The main bill provides for authorizing legislation to place in the U.S Capitol a statue of Harriet Tubman, one of Maryland’s all time great American heroes. Tubman’s statue would be at no cost to the state of Maryland, as the funding will be provided by nonprofit groups and individual donors. Additional legislation requests declaration of state and national Harriet Tubman Days.
Committees: Senate: Education Health and Environmental Affairs
House of Delegates: Health & Government Operations Committee (statue)
Rules & Executive Nominations (commemorative days)

Lead sponsors: Delegate Susan C. Lee
(410) 8413649/ (301) 858-3649/ susan.lee@house.state.md.us

Senator Catherine Pugh
(410) 841-3656/ (301) 8583656 / catherine.pugh@senate.state.md.us

Coordinating Groups: Maryland NOW
Linda Mahoney, mdnowpresident@aol.com, 301-648-5484
www.marylandnow.org/Harriet_Tubman_Statue_Project

EVE [Equal Visibility Everywhere]
http://equalvisibilityeverywhere.org/
Dr. Lynette Long, drlynettelong@aol.com

The 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman is in March 2013 (her exact birthdate is unknown). The following legislation is offered to facilitate a timely celebration of her extraordinary achievements:
1) A gift of a Harriet Tubman statue from the citizens of Maryland to the people of the United States (HB 1429 /
HJ 11/SB 1069/ SJ 5) to be prominently placed somewhere in the U.S. Capitol, with private fundraising by a commission appointed by the Governor;

2) Declaration of a state Harriet Tubman Day for March 10, 2012 (HB 1154/SB 790) – hearing on March 13 will be too late for this one; Del. Lee is making a direct request to the Governor;
3) Declaration of an annual state Harriet Tubman Commemorative Day on March 10 (HB 1164/SB 777); and
4) Request by the Maryland Legislature to the U.S. President for a Declaration of a National Harriet Tubman Day on March 10, 2013 (HJ10/SJ 4).
Background Information:
Last year a broad coalition worked to get authorization for a Harriet Tubman statue to replace one of the two official Maryland statues in the U.S. Capitol. (Congressional legislation in 2000 authorized states to update their images with replacement of founders.) The legislation was amended in the Senate, and resulting legislation was unlikely to result in an official Harriet Tubman statue anytime soon. Thus the coalition recommended that the legislation be pulled before it could be similarly amended and passed in the House of Delegates.
The current legislation would not authorize a replacement; this would be an additional statue, and at no cost to the state of Maryland, as the funding will be provided by nonprofit groups and individual donors. Del. Susan Lee and Sen. Catherine Pugh are the lead sponsors again this year. Two groups initiated the 2011 effort: Equal Visibility Everywhere [EVE] and Maryland NOW [National Organization for Women – Maryland], which is again coordinating the communications and group support.

***

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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

by Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
March 25, 2011 · Comments Off  

Triangle Shirtwaist FireNew York City: a tall building engulfed in flames, trapped workers on the upper floors leaping to their deaths. 9-11? No, 1911. It was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, one of the most devastating disasters in American history. And it happened 100 years ago today.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was a sweatshop where hundreds of young women, most of them immigrants, slaved over sewing machines and work tables to make the popular blouses known as shirtwaists. When the fire started the women couldn’t get out, since the sweatshop owner had locked the doors. Fire hoses were too short to reach the highest floors where the fire raged. The trapped employees crowded onto a flimsy fire escape, which then collapsed under the weight. Desperately, with the wall of flames behind them, women started leaping to their deaths. A total of 146 garment workers died that day, most of them young women.

The Triangle fire was a watershed event. Labor laws, the women’s movement, public safety—all were transformed by the disaster.

Cornell University has an excellent resource site about the fire: Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire. It includes a photo archive (with graphic images, so be warned).

The Triangle fire had a galvanizing effect on Frances Perkins, who went on to become the first female Secretary of Labor (and the first female Cabinet member, period). Perkins was the architect of much of the New Deal, including Social Security.

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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

by Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
March 22, 2011 · Comments Off  

The March issue of DC Spotlight is online, and the “In the Spotlight” featured person is none other than our own Dr. Lynette Long, president of EVE. Spotlight Editor-in-Chief Wendy Thompson interviewed Lynette at home, and the result is a fascinating article about the inspiration for EVE, our current projects, the background to the Harriet Tubman Statue Project, and more. Go read!

Thanks to DC Spotlight and Ms. Thompson for this wonderful piece. Here’s the video portion of the interview included with the article:

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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

by Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
March 15, 2011 · Comments Off  

John HansonIn all the talk about whether Maryland should replace John Hanson with Harriet Tubman in National Statuary Hall, one mistaken idea keeps cropping up. It’s this notion that John Hanson was really “the first President of the United States.”

No, he wasn’t.

It is ironic that the proponents of this idea, such as Maryland Senator Mike Miller, cast themselves as the guardians of truth, conscientiously defending the past from revisionists who want to “rewrite history.” Ironic because their version of John Hanson is a myth.

The real story goes like this: John Hanson was a delegate from Maryland to the Continental Congress in the early 1780s. As you no doubt recall from high school history class, the Continental Congress was the convention of representatives from the thirteen colonies (later states) which served as a very loose government from 1774 to 1789. This was before the Constitution was adopted, before our republic was actually founded.

Anyway, in 1781 John Hanson was elected president—literally, the presiding officer—of the Congress. That was his title: “president of Congress.” This was not in any sense an executive position; it was a parliamentary role. Hanson was the ninth president of Congress since its inception in 1774, and the third man to occupy the seat following the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in March 1881. He wasn’t the “President of the United States” any more than his predecessor Thomas McKean or his successor Elias Boudinot was. A total of fifteen men served terms as president of Congress, and the reason we don’t remember their names is because the job wasn’t all that important. This was by design: Americans were terrified of central government and abhorred anything that smelled remotely like a dictatorship. They were almost neurotic about it, in fact. The president of Congress simply wasn’t allowed to have any power. …continue reading

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Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE

by Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE
March 11, 2011 · Comments Off  

(Ed. Note: This op-ed is being published in the Baltimore Sun on Friday, March 11, 2011. See our Harriet Tubman Statue Project for more.)

The Maryland General Assembly has an opportunity to send a new representative to the United States Capitol. This person wouldn’t be a voting member of Congress but would stand tall in the halls of the Capitol and serve as a symbol of freedom, courage and equality to all Americans. This session, the Maryland legislature will decide whether or not to replace the statue of John Hanson that has stood in National Statuary Hall for more than 100 years with one of Harriet Tubman.

National Statuary Hall was established in 1864 by an act of Congress. By law, each state is authorized to furnish two statues of citizens who are “illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services.” Harriet Tubman certainly fits that description. She was an abolitionist, a union spy, a suffragist, and a great Marylander who risked her own life countless times to save the lives of others. John Hanson, a Colonial era farmer and first president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, is represented by one of Maryland’s two statues in the collection. The other statue is of Charles Carroll, another Colonial-era Marylander, who was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Our nation’s Capitol is the symbol of our democracy. In a nation where we believe that anyone can accomplish anything, our government systematically sends the unmistakable message to girls and women that their contributions to our country’s history were insignificant. The enormous Capitol frieze surrounding the Rotunda depicts the history of the United States, celebrating key moments in our history from the nation’s inception to the discovery of flight, and yet there is only one recognizable woman depicted in those paintings: Pocahontas. In Statuary Hall itself, there is only one woman out of 38 statues, and only nine women in the entire Collection of 100 statues displayed throughout the Capitol. …continue reading

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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

by Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
March 10, 2011 · Comments Off  

Today is the 98th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s death in 1913. The date was designated as national Harriet Tubman Day in 1990.

(Actually, right now every day is Harriet Tubman Day here at EVE, what with the Maryland legislature considering the bill to put Tubman in Statuary Hall. And this would be a perfect time to call some committee members.)

Here’s the bill signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990:

PUBLIC LAW 101-252 –MAR. 13, 1990 104 STAT. 99

447px-Harriet_Tubman_late_in_life3

Joint Resolution
To designate March 10, 1990, as “Harriet Tubman Day”

Whereas Harriet Ross Tubman was born into slavery in Bucktown, Maryland, in or around the year 1820;

Whereas she escaped slavery in 1849 and became a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad;

Whereas she undertook a reported nineteen trips as a conductor, endeavoring despite great hardship and great danger to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom;

Whereas Harriet Tubman became an eloquent and effective speaker on behalf of the movement to abolish slavery;

Whereas she served in the Civil War as a soldier, spy, nurse, scout, and cook, and as a leader in working with newly freed slaves;

Whereas after the War, she continued to fight for human dignity, human rights, opportunity, and justice; and

Whereas Harriet Tubman—whose courageous and dedicated pursuit of the promise of American ideals and common principles of humanity continues to serve and inspire all people who cherish freedom—died at her home in Auburn, New York, on March 10, 1913; Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That March 10, 1990 be designated as “Harriet Tubman Day,” to be observed by the people of the United States with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Approved March 13, 1990.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY – S.J. Res. 257
Congressional record, Vol. 136 (1990):
Mar. 6, considered and passed Senate.
Mar. 7, considered and passed House.

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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

by Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
March 8, 2011 · Comments Off  

Happy International Women’s Day! We’re so busy right now trying to get one particular woman enshrined in Statuary Hall that I didn’t have time to write a post. Instead I pulled together some links and videos to share.

IWD.com has an excellent timeline of the history of Women’s Day. The page also includes a video from Russia which highlights how the observance there has morphed into a kind of cross between Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

In other countries, though, Women’s Day still carries political significance:

The National Women’s History Museum offers a more in-depth look at the evolution of the March 8 observance:

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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History

by Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
March 5, 2011 · Comments Off  

Mercy Otis Warren, circa 1763, oil on canvas, by John Singleton Copley.

Mercy Otis Warren, circa 1763, oil on canvas, by John Singleton Copley.

If she were a man, Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) would almost certainly be remembered as one of our nation’s most influential Founders. Called the “Conscience of the American Revolution” as well as the “Mother of the Bill of Rights,” she was an intellectual powerhouse whose sheer genius compelled respect. John Adams remarked that she possessed an intellect which “[God] bestows on few of the human race,” and that “of all the geniuses which have yet arisen in America, there has been none superior.” Thomas Jefferson said simply, “I have long possessed evidence of her high station in the ranks of genius.” Neither of these men believed in rights for women, of course; but this particular woman they couldn’t dismiss. She was just too smart.

Mercy Otis was born into the Massachusetts intelligentsia, and her whole family was wrapped up in revolutionary fervor. Her brother, James Otis, was the firebrand who came up with the “no taxation without representation” slogan. Her husband, James Warren, was one of the Sons of Liberty and later served as Paymaster General of the Continental Army. The Warren home was a meeting place for patriots throughout the Revolutionary era, and Mercy and James were close friends of John and Abigail Adams.

Mercy herself contributed to the cause with sharply-written plays and extremely persuasive pamphlets. As a woman, she took care to remain anonymous and allow the public to imagine a male author behind the pungent prose. Privately, though, she was well-known to the other intellectual leaders of the Revolution. She regularly advised and corresponded with John Adams, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and George Washington. …continue reading

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